Random Ramblings: 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

NEONS BASKETBALL


We are so proud of this guy.  He tried out for his schools basketball team.  Everyone that tried out made it onto a team, and all the teams play against each other.  They had enough kids try out that they were able to form 5 teams. 
But no matter what he may be facing with his foot, he NEVER lets that stop him.  He keeps on trying and moving forward.  He has played baseball and now basketball, he even did karate for a bit.  He is the smallest kid on his team, but he plays with all his heart and is always wearing a smile on his face.  

His team is currently undefeated. YAY!  

He didn't get to play in todays game becuase he is missing some homework assignments in his math class that brough his grade down, and bad grade do not allow for participating in sports activities, but he turned some in today that were missing so that should make it so he can play again.  Hard lessons to learn, but they need to be enforced and we are fine with that. I know he was bummed he couldn't play but I think he understands just how important it is to make sure all his homework gets turned in. I tell him if you took the time to do it, I sure the heck would want to get the credit for it and make sure I turned it in.  :)  

But I just want to always remember what an inspiration he is to me.  He doesn't let his foot issues ever stop him, nope he just puts his heart into it and tries with all his might.  I sometimes need to remember that myself.  He will always be my little hero and an inspiration to me!  


Now lets go NEONS and stay undefeated!!  



And, of course because nothing is safe in this house, and my crafty brain just can't let it be, I had to heat transfer vinyl his team name and number on his shirt.  

And my vinyl obsession doesn't stop there, so I had to of course make his coach her own cup as well. I actually have these cups listed in my etsy shop, so it was a given that I was going to make her one... Well ok I made myself a basketball mom one as well.  :) 

Do your kids inspire you?  Do they play sports?  Do you give their teachers and coaches gifts?  

~NICOLE

Monday, November 16, 2015

MINI CHERRY PIES


Today's post is one of those that got lost on my hard drive.  Luckily I did have a few shots I took with my cell phone so I can still share it.
I thought these Mini Cherry Pies are the cutest things ever!
They were pretty simple to make and the kids loved them , and so did the neighbors that we gave some to as well.

So with my big camera (the missing pictures) I took a few extra photos of steps but I did get enough with my cell phone.

So this is how I made these.  

I took premade refrigerated pie crust and rolled one of them out.  I took a cup that was the perfect size.  I cut out circles and gently placed them in each mini muffin cup.  I baked them for about 10 minutes. 
I took them out and let them cool for a few minutes.
I took a can of cherry pie filling, and filled each backed pie crust.  



Then I took the second sheet of crust and cut the same circle with the cup.  I then cut tiny little strips from those circles and added those to the top of each mini pie.  

I then stuck it back in the oven to bake for a bit. I wanted it to heat the cherry pie filling and bake the strips on top.  I checked them to make sure they were crisp and the filling was heated then took them out of the oven. 
I then let them cool enough that they were safe to touch.  

We tasted them and they were so good!  It was really an easy little treat to make for the kids.  

I am thinking little tiny pumpkin pies would be super fun too.  

Do you like to make tiny little desserts?  What is your favorite?

~NICOLE

Sunday, November 15, 2015

PRAY FOR PARIS

Friday the world was hit with another tragic terrorist act.  I was running errands and going grocery shopping, grabbing a few supplies for orders I needed to finish up this weekend, going about my normal routine like all was well.  I had no clue what was unfolding across the world.

I was on my way home and got a text from my sister in law Amberley that incase we saw the news my brother was safe.  Wait what is going on?  Well that morning my brother flew into Paris for work. He works for Air1 / Klove Radio and him and a few other people flew to Paris for training and to work on some stuff at thier Air1/KLove Paris station.  So she sent the link to the news article.

Here is the link she sent me.  


I had no idea! Thankfully he was fine but the rest of Paris was not.  How tragic and horrific yet once again for part of our world.  I will continue to pray for Paris and the rest of our world for that matter.  


When I sit and think of all these horrible acts against our countries these days it is a little scary to think of the times we live in now.
I pray for peace in our nations and a safer world that we live in.  

#PRAYFORPARIS 

~NICOLE



Thursday, November 12, 2015

OUR FIRST ARIZONA SNOW

Last week we had our first official Arizona snow day.  It was fun.  The kids said it was snowing pretty hard at school, but it wasn't at our house that day.  So they still were in school that day.  I picked them up like normal that day and when we came home it started to rain then snow.  It wasn't sticking much since it was still pretty wet outside.  
They of course had to go outside and play in it.  

It started to stick just a tiny bit.  


I guess they first thought we were still in CA weather and went outside with no jackets.  I made them go in and get them on since it was pretty cold out.  

We were kind of hoping it would snow all night and we would have a no school snow day, but that didn't happen.  The sun was out the next morning, but it was still pretty cold.  The car doors were frozen shut that morning even.  Jacob has since cleaned the garage so we can park in there now. YAY!
But it must have snowed alot downtown that night becuase it was covered on the way to school that morning.  


It is definitely not the same kind of weather we are used to in CA.  I can't wait to see what the winters are like here in Arizona. I have heard our town is very into Christmas and decorate like no other.  It is called the Christmas town after all.  

Does it snow where you live?  I think it would be so amazing to live in a place where you get snowed inside your house for a few days at a time, and have to all stay in and each chili and soups and warm up by the fire all day long.. like Baby Boom movie kind of thing.  But I am sure I say that but would go stir crazy if that was really the case, and the kids would be fighting non stop and driving each other insane.  

~NICOLE

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

CALEB'S READING AWARD

I want to start sharing the kids accomplishments more here on my blog.  I share on social media but want to have this blog more of a place like that too. 
A few weeks ago Caleb brought this award home for not only reaching but passing his AR goal for the first quarter.  He raised it 9 points in a short amount of time.  We are so proud of him.  He was more exctied that he got this FREE Sonic lunch coupon to go with it.  He has been dying to use it, but we just haven't had a chance yet.  

Keep up the hard work little guy.  We are proud of you.  

Do your kids have AR goals in reading at school?  
Do your kids enjoy reading?  

~NICOLE

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

HALLOWEEN 2015

How was your Halloween this year?  
Ours was good, quiet and a little different but good because they kids enjoyed it and that is really what matters, right?

This was our first Halloween in Arizona, first real "holiday" by ourselves here.  It was a good day though.  It was pretty quiet and it wasn't extra freezing so that was an added bonus.  

This year we actually bought new costumes.  The last few years the boys wanted to wear the same costumes from the year before, so whatever worked was good.  But with moving we had no spare costumes this year and they pretty much out grew those old ones from years past anyways.  So we went to Walmart and let them pick out new ones.  YIKES, now I remember why I never do that.  They are so so expensive for something they will wear for all of a few hours one day a year.  But they got what they wanted so I guess all worth it in the end.  

This year Little Jacob was having a hard time deciding.  He found a few he liked then he found this police costume that he really liked so that is what he went with.  Caleb found this Master Chief costume thing from the Halo Video Game.  Ya he made me feel old because I just had no clue lol.  
Chloe was dead set on being a cheetah, because that is her latest obsession.  She says it is because they run super fast and that makes them her favorite animal.  Hers we really just made it more than bought it.  I got her cheetah ears and tail, I found this cheetah shirt, made her a cheetah tutu skirt and drew cheetah on her face.  She was thrilled.  


We were totally late on getting the pumpkins this year so the day before when the kids and I went groecery shopping the boys picked theirs out.  Chloe got hers earlier in the week during her class field trip to the pumpkin patch.  
So Saturday morning we got up, Jacob made breakfast and we carved pumpkins.  I say we like I did much but I didn't actually.  Jacob helped the kids get all the guts out and cut off their tops.  Then the kids drew on their faces and we helped them cut them out.  

Little Jacob with his pumpkin.  He wanted some dracula teeth on his.  

Caleb and his with many many teeth.  

Chloe with her pumpkin.  She wanted the nose and mouth as one big scary thing.  

I put in some flameless candles I had so that I didn't worry about them when we went out trick or treating that night.  


We relaxed around the house during that day and then the kids were so ready to get dressed for trick or treating.  
Chloe was angry and didn't want any cheetah designs drawn on her face what so ever.  Daddy finally convinced her to let me draw them on her.  

What a fun surprise when we were trick or treating and the girl that answered the door matched Chloe exactly.  The other girl was so excited she asked if she could take a picture with Chloe.  That was so much fun, and Chloe was so excited.  


We trick or treated around our new neighborhood for about an hour and a half and then the kids thought it was fun to sit out front and hand out candy to the other trick or treaters.  We have never been able to do that before.


Then we came inside and the kids went through all their candy and just like that Chloe was out on the couch.  She was talking one minute then out the next.  I guess trick or treating will do that to a cheetah.  

The kids had fun.  It was different from all the other Halloweens we have had before.  Usually the streets are so crowded it is a bit of chaotic going on, but here there were trick or treaters but not by the bus full in the streets.  It made it nice for walking around and enjoying the night.  

What do you do on Halloween?  Do you trick or treat or go to churches for trunk or treating?

~NICOLE



Monday, November 9, 2015

CROCK POT LASAGNA

So I had a few posts in mind I wanted to share with you and then last week something horrible happened.  My hard drive had some kind of malfunction and wiped itself clean.  As in zero zip zilch on it.  So... until I can get that stuff off of it (hopefully, lets pray) I am back at ground zero as far as photos for posts.  Thankfully I did have this post started and saved here so I can at least share that with you right now.  :)
I am going to go through my phone and see if I have some pictures of things I planned to share where with you, which I think I might have one or two.  So that is a start at least.
But until then I will share this yummy recipe with you.  

As you all know we lived in a hotel for a bit when we first moved to Arizona.  Instead of eating dinner out every night I did try to make meals in the hotel a few times.  We had a small little kitchen with a stove, but no oven.  So we got a new crockpot (ours was packed and in storage) so that I could easily make some crock pot dinners.  
The first night I made some roasts and potatoes.  
Then the next night I made a lasagna.  Turned out pretty good.  
I would recommend saving a little cheese to add at the end just before you are ready to serve so it is nice and cheesy.  I added all the cheese when I put it together, which didn't turn out bad but some just melted cheese would be great too.  
So let me show you how I mad this lasagna.  
First I browned my meat in a pot and drained all the oil.   



I thought it would be much easier to just use jarred sauce instead of trying to make homemade at this time.  The kind I used was Barilla.  

Once the meat was completely cooked and drained I added the jars of sauce and mixed it well.  

I added a spoonful of the meat and sauce mixture to the bottom of the crockpot.


I then used the lasagna noodles, uncooked and added them in the crockpot.  I broke some to just makes sure the entire layer was covered.  

I then added a layer of meat and sauce mixture.  Enough to cover all the noodles.  Then I covered that with mozzarella cheese.  Then I sprinkled a little bit of Parmesan cheese.  

I repeated the layers until the top of the crokpot.  I used about a box and a half of noodles and several jars of sauce.  I didn't want it to get too dry.  I left it on high for several hours and it was done.  I think though next time low for the entire day would be fine too.  

Then it was ready.  I just sliced into it just like it was from a pan out of the oven.  


My only recommendation would be to save some cheese and when it is close to being done sprinkle some on the top and let it just melt and then serve.  Ours was good, but I like the cheese on top to be melty not more on the done side.  But that is just me.  It was still really good.  
And like I mentioned add more sauce than you would in a lasagna you make and toss right into the oven because in the crock pot it seems to soak it up more or something.  :) 

I haven't made lasagna in the crock pot or even in the oven since we moved into the house, but now that the weather is getting colder I tend to make it more often.  My goal is to make a few for the freezer too.  Hopefully that is.  

What is your favorite crock pot dinner meal?  

~NICOLE 

Friday, October 30, 2015

WE WERE BOO'D!


The week before last the night was like usual, getting the kids showered and ready for bed for school the next morning.  But then the doorbell rang.  Strange we thought since we just moved in and don't know anyone that would stop by unexpected.  

When we answered it there was no on there, but there was a fun little basket of goodies sitting there waiting for us.  

The kids were so excited.  
We had no idea who did it.  
There was  fun little note about the ghost phantom coming to visit us and now we had to pass the fun on to two other neighbors. 
There was also a hand written note on the directions that said welcome to the neighborhood from the neighbors up the street. 

There were glow sticks , candy, pencils, periscopes and a giant spider in our cute little bucket.  

So now it was our turn to do it to 2 other neighbors around. 
So the next morning after I dropped the kids off at school I ran to the dollar store and Walmart to gather my goods. 
My first thought was to make both baskets in a ghost theme, but I wasn't finding as much as I wanted and then I came across some super cute Frankenstein stuff .  So I made a ghost themed one and a Frankenstein themed one.  


I couldn't find a plain white bucket so I got this metal basket, which is really a trash can, but hey it worked for what I needed it to work for.  
I got some of the crinkly paper for the bottom in a silver color (because they didn't have black or whtie).
I got some ghost bags, ghost peeps, foam ghosts, a ghost notebook, ghost suckers, ghost balloons, a ghost pez dispenser, ghost yard decorations, 2 ghost battery operated lanterns and a white bottle of gatorade.

I made this fun little BOO banner to go with it.  

I put everything together in the basket, and tied the banner around the outside of it.
For a fun touch I took the gatorade label off and drew a ghost face.  

For our Frankenstein bucket, we got a green bucket, some kraft colored paper shred, a glow in the dark flying saucer, a box of gummy candy that looked like frankenstein, frankenstein suckers, caramel apple taffy because it was lime green to match, a bottle of green bubbles, a box, frankenstein bags, a green water bottle and a green bottle of gatorade.  

I used green vinyl and made the bubbles and water bottle into frankenstein and drew the same look on the gatorade bottle.  

I filled one of the Frankenstein bags with the caramel apple taffy.  

I piled it all into the bucket as well. 

I did also use vinyl and give the bucket a Frankenstein face as well.  

Then once it got dark that night, we went to the neighbors houses ( we did some that were real close so we didn't need to take the car), and I had Caleb run up to the door, place the bucket down, then ring the doorbell and run as fast as he could back to us.  
I figured just one child running away would be much easier than all of us trying to get out of there in time before they opened the doors and we might get caught.  :)

It was so much fun! 

I already have ideas for next year.  Well truth be told I was searching pinterest for some ideas and they have this same concept idea for I think every holiday imaginable lol.  So it might be fun to do it for several holidays.  

I have to say that I have heard of this but we have never had it done to us.  I love how friendly our Arizona neighborhood is.  :)

Well then this last week another neighbor of ours brought us this basket, just as a welcome to the neighborhood/happy halloween basket.  It was full of fun treats for the kids and little toys.


WOWI mean just look at all this fun stuff in here.  


Have you ever been BOO'D by your neighbors, or started a BOO fest in your neighborhood?  What did you get, or put in your buckets?  

HAPPY BOOing!

~NICOLE



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

GIVEAWAY TIME


I'm having a little GIVEAWAY!!!  The first person that can correctly guess what these will be when I am finished with them will win a set of their own!  

I posted this on my Instagram and my personal Facebook and my noticeablyNICOLES Facebook page as well. 

Keep the guesses coming! 

Contest ends when the first person guesses it correctly. 
If no one guesses correctly by Sunday November 1, 2015 I will put all the names into a hat from all the entries on each social media site and draw a random winner.  

~NICOLE